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Old 02-23-2014, 05:08 PM   #11
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

It's hard to get a truck or van that weighs 10,000 lb to drive like a car. That's just the nature of the beast.

Anyhoo, I told Jeff that my main concern was wash board and the unseen pothole at high speed. The Deavers (and Bilstein shocks) shine in that regard. Do I notice much difference at 70 mph on the hwy? Nope.
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Old 02-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

Forgot to mention that when I was doing the test drive with Jeff and was not excited about the initial results he stated he would do what it took to make it right. I appreciated that statement and commitment from him and immediately felt at ease. Standup guy and company.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:10 PM   #13
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

I replaced the front Betts springs last year. No change. I replaced the OME shocks with identical new ones this year and I think it is a stiffer less pleasant ride now.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:45 AM   #14
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

I should mention I am very happy with my Deavers. I was nervous but both on and off road they're great. I feel like I have more support and more travel.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:11 PM   #15
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

At the time my van was the heaviest Jeff had worked with (11.7). He should have it dialed in by now, just weigh the axles.

To me the difference off road is that the Deaver Springs make me feel like I'm aired down to 35 pounds.

I've posted before about the switch from SMB's 2006 springs to the Deaver's. Every time I do some kind of upgrade here comes all the extra crap. I now expect it.
Pros:
>>Much smoother. I can drive over some of the worst speed bumps and not feel much.
>>Gained 2+ inches on the lift.
>>Interior doesn't vibrate apart like it did in the past.
>>Got better shocks out of the deal.

Cons:
<<Additional lift made it difficult to get into my van. Had to buy power steps
<<Made my brand new 285's look stupid on the van and had to go with 315's
<<Had to cut back the front fenders because with the sway bar cut loose the tires try to eat the flares
<<The van doesn't take cornering as well. Even with the 285's the springs just allow a bit more sway. The 315's made it a bit worse.

I would never go back to what SMB originally installed but other spring packs might do as well...I don't know. I am happy with how it handles with the Deaver's overall. I do think each van might be different.
The weight and length of the van plus the rim and tire size all come into play. I'm also sure the year of the van is something to consider as well.
Jeff had to send me a couple of extra leafs for the rear because it had a slight sag. Adding the leaf didn't change the ride. I also put my rear airbags back on and with them aired to 35 pounds, the ride is the same.
On the older vans it might be wise to ask Jeff about front shock mounts. Some need gussets added. At least on mine the weld was no good on one and failed in the backcountry.

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Old 02-28-2014, 10:13 PM   #16
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
<<Made my brand new 285's look stupid on the van and had to go with 315's
You accidentally listed that under cons.

Quote:
<<The van doesn't take cornering as well. Even with the 285's the springs just allow a bit more sway. The 315's made it a bit worse.
It feels like that, but I don't think that is necessarily true. I nearly had what might have been a fatal accident into the back of a semi coming down I-70 from the mountains- this was like, two years ago. My 70mph vs his under 20 in the right lane, a differential I wasn't aware of until literally the last second, basically almost put me into his trailer. A hard lane change under full braking, which left more than a little of my tires on the road, was the maneuver that kept me out of the back of the truck. I was at least at 45º to the lane direction at one point, a point which I'm pretty sure was still mostly behind (I had this image of putting the passenger A pillar into his trailer corner) and yet the van managed to come back into the new lane straight and take me safely past the big rig (who was understandably pissed- nobody wants some fool to die into the back of their truck...) You cannot say lucky (nor stupid) enough times about this, but I also can't find fault with the springs amount of sway, at least in affecting actual handling. I know it feels "bad" but I don't think that makes it actually worse, at least not in my limited experience.
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Old 03-01-2014, 07:27 AM   #17
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveb
.........cut......

To me the difference off road is that the Deaver Springs make me feel like I'm aired down to 35 pounds.

I've posted before about the switch from SMB's 2006 springs to the Deaver's. Every time I do some kind of upgrade here comes all the extra crap. I now expect it.
Pros:
>>Much smoother. I can drive over some of the worst speed bumps and not feel much.
>>Gained 2+ inches on the lift.
>>Interior doesn't vibrate apart like it did in the past.
>>Got better shocks out of the deal.

Cons:
<<Additional lift made it difficult to get into my van. Had to buy power steps
<<Made my brand new 285's look stupid on the van and had to go with 315's
<<Had to cut back the front fenders because with the sway bar cut loose the tires try to eat the flares
<<The van doesn't take cornering as well. Even with the 285's the springs just allow a bit more sway. The 315's made it a bit worse.

.......cut.........
From your description it sounds to me like the new springs are probably less stiff than the previous, so they improve ride quality under most conditions; but the down side is that softer springs generally allow for greater roll, or sway in turns. Adding taller tires probably doesn't help either because they may compress more unless overinflated. And if tires compress more then it has a secondary effect on suspension because it loads springs more during higher-speed turns due to slight lateral shift in center of gravity.

I think you are right that many changes we make to vehicles have compromises. The good news in your case is that you are happy with the revised set up. Many times changes don't turn out as well.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:51 PM   #18
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Re: Deaver Springs to order - total vehicle weight

Yeah, the ride still handles well enough that I'm more than satisfied and I would never go back even if somebody paid me to. My point is that when you make changes with one item, you might have to change other parameters. The cost of the springs hit my wallet hard enough at the time. The total change (springs and tires) does limit the speed I take around corners...that I know for sure. I don't blame that totally on the springs, but they were the catalyst. Having to sell my practically brand new 285's was a con...a big one as far as cost to make the van look normal again. I don't know how much more lift the springs added to the van but when Jeff came driving around the corner with it all I said was oh my god Jeff said it would raise about an inch+ but it sure looked and felt like more. Just climbing in was very noticeable. All of this was something I didn't take into account when changing the springs. Also because of my trailer, I have 8 wheels and tires to change, not a cheap venture. Now I have to trim the trailer fenders, move the bushwackers and add mud flaps so I can get back to all 315's.

I still think each vehicle will ride slightly different with the Deaver upgrade because our vans aren't exactly the same so YMMV.

[Edit]: I should note that this 11,000LB+ van handles about as good as my 93 Chevy pickup that has 33 MT's on it in a hard corner. I was very surprised how well the Sportsmobile handles and although not a sports car I just wanted to put it into perspective. The trade off for a smoother ride on harsh trails was well worth the upgrade.
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